Dear VSE Community,
Three days ago, we were saddened and horrified again by violence in America when eight people were murdered in Atlanta. Six of those people were of Asian descent, and while law enforcement is still investigating the murders, violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) is on the rise. This is a disturbing trend.
Approximately 40 percent of the Volgenau student body is made up of students who identify with AAPI heritage. Almost 30 percent of our full-time faculty identify as members of a greater AAPI community. Our university is steadily enriched by their contributions in and out of the classroom. We are better because we include them as a part of the engineering and computing family.
Standing in solidarity might seem like a small gesture, but with each linked hand we build a fence of tolerance and understanding to overcome every bit of ignorance we encounter. We affirm President Washington’s statement when he says, “Mason is your home, and you are loved and supported here. Your safety and sense of belonging are of utmost importance to everyone.” Within the Volgenau School of Engineering, we echo that. You belong and we are here for you in any way you may need us. This goes beyond allyship and advocacy. We will always be your champions. That goes for every member of our community.
For our Asian and Asian American students please know that you can attend a student session today March 19 from 11:30 am to 12:30 am EDT. Here is the link: https://ccee.gmu.edu/stop-asian-hate-support-spaces/. This event is organized by the Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment in University Life.
As we work to be champions, if you are looking for further resources to learn and understand more about anti-racism and how to further support the AAPI community, please go to volgenau.gmu.edu/diversity.
I ask you to join with me in taking small and big steps toward changing the narrative for ourselves – to further become the America we aspire to be.
Chris Carr, Chief Diversity Officer
Volgenau School of Engineering